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Christmas Album


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Music

Image of album by Jethro Tull

Photos

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Biography

Early in 1968, a group of young British musicians, born from the ashes of various failed regional bands gathered together in hunger, destitution and modest optimism in Luton, North of London. With a common love of Blues and an appreciation, between them, of various other music forms, they started to win over a small but enthusiastic audience in the various pubs and clubs of Southern England. ... Read more in Amazon's Jethro Tull Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (13 Oct 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: R & M Entertainment
  • ASIN: B0000CFYND
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,187 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Birthday card At Christmas
2. Holly Herald
3. A Christmas Song
4. Another Christmas song
5. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
6. Jack Frost and The Hooded Crow
7. Last man At The Party
8. Weathercock
9. Pavane
10. First Snow On Brooklyn
11. Greensleeved
12. Fire At Midnight
13. We Five Kings
14. Ring Out Solstice Bells
15. Bouree
16. Winter Snowscape

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

While most festive-themed rock offerings are as palatable as turkey leftovers or January credit card statements, Jethro Tull's The Christmas Album is 2003's folk-rock feast for the ears, a veritable hamper of delicacy bulging with dependable old faithfuls (newly rendered versions of JS Bach's "Bouree", "Weathercock", "Fires at Midnight" and "Ring Out Solstice Bells"), jazzed-up carol curiosities ("God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman" really goes with a swing à la Modern Jazz Quartet, "We Five Kings" comes over a little bit Dave Brubeck) and sundry confectionary extravagances, like Martin Barre's shivery instrumental " A Christmas Snowcape".

While it's all reassuringly wrapped-up in the wintry Victorian romanticism of yore (the album cover, after all, is a charmingly subtle joke), The Christmas Album still questions--in curmudgeonly Ian Anderson fashion--what all this back-slapping bonhomie, alcoholic immoderation and High-street retail hysteria is all about. Thus, the frivolity of "Holly Herald" (two spritely carols rolled into one) is counterbalanced by a little Dickensian social conscience on "Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow", an imaginatively literate description of the despair of homelessness. Crisply produced in the manner of their vintage 1970s work and brimming with delightful instrumental wit and invention, The Christmas Album is a cracker you'll want to pull more than once. --Kevin Maidment

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By D. A. Burmeister-prescott on 24 Nov 2009
Format: Audio CD
I wasn't sure about pre-ordering this double disc set. Firstly one of the discs ia a plain re-issue of the 2003 release "The Jethro Tull Christmas Album", which is good, but not great; too short on new material for me. Secondly disc No.2 is recorded during a cross between a JT acoustic concert and a carol service.

However, it is probably, to my ears the very best acoustic live concert that JT have ever done, sound is great, the vocal the best from Ian Anderson in many a year, despite his comment that he was suffering with some variety of Lurgy, and the playing by the band is, as ever, magnificent. Add in a sprinkle of readings, some nice choir and congregation carols, plus Ian Anderson doing a skilled job of being the host / MC and the whole ensemble makes a warm and uplifting Christmas treat.

Buy this, you will not be disappointed.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Nov 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is not your typical and smarmy, sickly-sweet Christmas album. Rather, with this CD Jethro Tull have managed to capture in both verse and melody the spirit of giving, sharing, and perfunctory overindulgence that ostensibly goes with the Christmas season, contrasted with the melancholy and flat-out destitution that the less-fortunate among us actually experience during this time of year. This interplay of content and style are presented against a backdrop of earthly Pagan solstice symbolism, all of which Jethro Tull have managed to integrate as a kind of ecumenical "Birthday Card at Christmas," which not incidentally is the title of the introductory track. This combination is daring and bold, if not outright brilliant, and in my estimation they have pulled it off strikingly well. The musicianship, vocals, lyrics, production and overall execution (not to mention outstanding packaging) are commensurate with and at times exceed even Tull's impeccably high standards, showing this to be a band at the top of it's craft. Anderson's vocals, in particular, complete the album by sounding as warmly weathered as the bearded red-suit uncle himself. It's a decidedly Tull exploration of the seasonal space -- an effort that starts strong and improves with subsequent listens. May it continue to play well for you during the holiday season and throughout the year.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By C. Trickett on 3 Jan 2005
Format: Audio CD
Armed with the open-minded realisation that they've earned the right to express themselves musically in any way they want, I left aside the selfish yearning for them to recreate the classic sounds of the 60s, 70s and to a lesser extent the 80s and 90s, and began to appreciate this CD for what it is. A wonderful expression of joy, fun and above all, a celebration of music. The mood is uplifting, the musicianship inspirational, and once again some of the new tracks (e.g. First Snow on Brooklyn) prove that Ian is far from a spent force. The Christmas Album is as welcome in my collection as all their other stuff.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By carl iredale on 13 Oct 2003
Format: Audio CD
If anyone has the correct curriculum Vitae to do a tongue-firmly-in-cheek Christmas album, then it has to be Anderson and his crew. And this, if you listen to it with a wry smile and a glass of mulled wine (the latter not an essential part of the listening process, but hey, why not?)then a splendid time is guarenteed. This album has both re-recorded versions of songs from the hugely extensive Tull back catalogue which may have even the most tenuous link with Christmas, or other Seasonal tunes and ditties. A fab jazzy version of God Rest Ye Merrie Gentlemen that Tull have played live for donkeys' years is here in all its sloppy jazzy glory. In short a great stocking filler for anyone with a love of all things Tull, or just up for a giggle.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kate Copsey on 8 Dec 2004
Format: Audio CD
For those of us old enough to remember Jethro Tull from the 70's and 80's, this new CD is a delight. It also makes a wonderful change to the rather mundane Christmas carol selections that are usually dragged out at this time of year.
The familiar flute is heard throughout the CD as Ian Anderson performs jaunty seasonal songs along with gentle and lyrical classical songs. There are mixes of carols arranged in medleys together, such as The Holly and the Ivy which is mixed with Hark the Herald Angels Sing in an instrumental. Both Greensleeves and We Three Kings are given an arrangement that makes the original still recognizable, while at the same time the interpretation has a definite Tull flavor. Several of the original songs reflect a slightly cynical view of the season and our overindulgence, illustrating Tull's unique style, such as in Another Christmas song and The First Snow on Brooklyn.
One of the most beautiful tracks on the CD is Ring Out the Solstice Bells. The flute creates the sounds of the bells ringing, creating an almost Dickensian feel to the song.
Reviewers have declared that this is the best work of Jethro Tull in many years, and I have to agree with that. However, even if you are from the post-vinyl era, this makes an interesting change to the rather sugary renditions of seasonal songs, whilst staying within the spirit of the Christmas season. It has become a favorite for our house already and I suspect it will stay that way for many years.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Lazzari on 21 Mar 2004
Format: Audio CD
Glad I bought this (but this time not from Amazon.co.uk I'm afraid).
Great album with great Christmas feel (funny that). Some lovely work from all the band on some old songs and some new ones. The songs (as opposed to the instrumentals) have a Songs from the Wood feel. Love the 'new' stuff especially Jack Frost & the Hooded Crow and Last man at the party. The instrumentals are just as wonderful. Great re-working of the Tull classic Bourée, some nice arrangements of traditional Christmas carols and lovely arrangement of Fauré's Pavane.
All in all another good from Ian & the boys. Don't wait until Christmas to buy it!
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